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Questions & Answers
Date Series Num Information
11 Jun 2007 37

Altemus Library

Q:  I have a small book called, Chesterfield's Letters? It is gray with a silver and red coat of arms on the front? On the edge of the book it says Altemus, and inside there is a script that says Letters, Sentences and Maxims - Lord Chesterfield Henry Altemus Philadelphia. Then there is a page that feels different from the other pages that has a picture of Philip, Earl of Chesterfield? It has a piece of what looks like onion cloth protecting that page? The next page says; Letters, Sentences, and Maxims by Lord Chesterfield, Philadelphia, Henry Altemus 1892. 302 pages. What can you tell me about this book?? Is it rare?? Is it of any value??

A:  I assume the book you are referring to is the one I have pictured below. It is part of the Altemus Library, a series published in the early 1890s. It is neither rare or valuable.
You never know what someone will find worth spending money on but if you get more than nominal value for this book, you should consider yourself fortunate.

11 Jun 2007 75

Devotional Series

Q:  I recently purchased an old copy of "John Ploughman's Talk" by Rev. Charles H. Spurgeon published by Henry Altemus Company, Philadelphia. It has no date in it. I would like to know how old it is. Can you help me? Attached are pictures to help.

A:  Your book is part of the Devotional Series (#75) and was published between 1901-1904. As you can see, there is a picture inside the oval on the cover of the book. There were a number of different pictures with this one appearing most often.

11 Jun 2007 125

Little Men and Women Series

Q:  I have a copy of "Alice in Wonderland And Through The Looking Glass" that appears to be undated. I have attached 2 pictures for your review. Can you please tell me anything about this wonderful, old book?

A:  Your book is from the Little Men and Women Series (#125), It was published between 1908 and 1915. This series of reprints originally came with jackets. Although there is nothing to distinguish the earlier in the series from the later in the series as far as the text goes, the covers and the ads did change as the years advanced. It appears from your cover that your book was one of the later books.

11 Jun 2007 180

Vademecum Series

Q:  I have found a very old Henry Altemus book. I am waiting for my batteries to recharge to send you a photo.

The title page contains:
Honore De Balzac
Shorter Stories
Henry Altemus
All lettering in Red with Green decorative. The back of the title page lists in red: Copyright 1895 by Henry Altemus

The cover looks strikingly like Series 180 Vademecum. I don't seem to be able to identify this book. I would appreciate any help you can provide.

A:  Your book is a 1901 Vademecum Series book. For several years the Vademecum books had various cover styles within which was a painted picture such as yours. These pictures (of which I know of 27) were used randomly with all of each year's books. The 1901 book came in at least 6 different colors. Thus for any given title there would be at least 162 different combinations of pictures and cover colors. Although any one book might be hard to find, the books of this series are relatively common. Certain titles are a bit more collectible than others. This is not because of scarcity but rather just because the title or author is more widely known. The Alice in Wonderland books by Carroll would be an example. They usually only bring nominal value when sold.

17 Apr 2007 44

Banbury Cross Series

Q:  I have a copy of a book titled "Old Mother Hubbard" with added stories of Puss in Boots and A Frog He Would A-Wooing Go, By Henry Altemus, copyright, 1904. (46 Illustrations. I would be interested in information you may have about the book and if it has any value please.

A:  This ten volume series was published in 1904. These Fairy Tales' books all initially had dust jackets. Value is nominal without the jacket. See ../series/series44.htm for more information.

17 Apr 2007 120

Library of Standard Authors

Q:  We have a Library of Standard Authors book called Tales of Shakespeare by Charles and Mary Lamb. The book is depicted on your website at http://henryaltemus.com/series/series120.htm. It is the first cover on the left.

How do we determine if this book is a first edition?

A:  It is not a first edition. Altemus first published this book in 1892 in the Altemus Library Series. The actual first edition however was published in 1807. As a general rule all Altemus published works of fiction were reprints.

24 Feb 2007 143

Petit Trianon Series

Q:  I have a book published by Henry Altemus Company, Poems by Oliver Wendell Holmes. The book is about 4 1/2 inches wide and 6 1/2 inches long. 186 pages. The front hardcover has pink, white and green flowers. A fancy design is embossed in gold. I cannot find a date. The print seems to be embossed like it was pressed to print. The contents start out with Cambrigde Churchyard, old Ironsides The last reader, Our Yankee Girls etc. Is there anyway to date this book?? Thanks.

A:  Your book was published in 1901-02 as part of the Petit Trianon Series. Without the original box and because of its poor shape it probably has very little value.

24 Feb 2007 180

Vademecum Series

Q:  I have the "Autobiography of Benjamin Franklin" 4 1/4" by 6 1/4" with no date of publishing. Date and value?

A:  Your book was published in 1907 as part of the Vademecum Series. Although it is obviously a great book in nice condition, it has only nominal value. Perhaps if it had the original box it came in it would be worth a few dollars.

13 Feb 2007 143

Petit Trianon Series

Q:  I am having a hard time identifying any type of date for this book (see image attachment). Could you please tell me more about this book, specifically date and print, issue number, etc.

A:  Your book is part of the Petit Trianon Series and was published in 1903-1904. This was a large multi-volume multi-authored Series of reprints of fiction and nonfiction books published between 1896-1910. There were numerous formats which generally changed on a yearly basis.

13 Feb 2007 180

Vademecum Series

Q:  The attached file (jpeg) shows the book titled "Idle Thoughts Of An Idle Fellow". It measures 6.5 inches x 4.25 inches. No copyright/publication is present Philadelphia and Henry Altemus Company is shown near the bottom of the title page. The book has 226 pages plus 24 pages of book publications for sale. It also has one (1) each double-sided blank page in the front and back of the book.

It would be appreciated if you could tell me what you know about the book, as well as its publication. Also appreciated would be a price range.

A:  Your book is part of the Vademecum Series published in 1903. This series was a multi volume series of reprints of fiction, poetry, essays, etc.

Each book in the series originally was boxed.

The picture on the front was used in several different formats in the early 1900s.

Value is between $0-15.

Although it is a very nice book, it is not a book of great collector interest.

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